On his latest solo release entitled “Palmystery” (on the Cleveland-based Heads Up label), the Béla Fleck bassist explores a variety of sonic textures without displaying an ounce of pretension as he does it. On “I Saw God,” fellow bassist Richard Bona contributes his trademark vocals (and percussion) on a tune that mixes both Afro-inspired and Gospel influences in one seamless package, while “2 Timers” is pure, finger-twisting modern jazz that switches the timing back and forth, clearly challenging the musicians as they go along. “The Lesson” features Roy Wooten, who adds handclaps and a few beats on the cajón, an instrument commonly used in Latin music. New York-based guitarist Mike Stern guests on “Sifu,” which draws inspiration from Latin and acid jazz. More recently, Wooten collaborated with Stanley Clarke and Marcus Miller on a disc appropriately called “Thunder” (also on Heads Up), a stroke of genius that came to fruition after the three musicians shared the stage during a 2007 jazz festival in New York. Like Clarke and Miller, Victor Wooten is one of these rare talents that you don’t get to hear too often. His grooves have a unique feel, which can always be appreciated regardless if he is billed as a leader or a sideman—and we’re glad to have him around. (Ernest Barteldes)
March 12 at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall,50 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston, (847)491-5441, 4pm. Free.